HISTORIC buildings in the centre of Abingdon could soon be turned into flats once again.

The Clockhouse complex is made up of three properties on Ock Street, one of which is currently used by the NHS for youth mental health services.

Nexus Properties Limited submitted plans to Vale of White Horse District Council last month to convert the two older buildings, which are Grade II and Grade II* listed, into 11 flats.

Five would be one-bedroom, five two-bedroom and the last three-bedroom. The two buildings - the Courtyard Building and Clockhouse mansion, date from the 18th century.

A third property is an addition from the 1980s and is not part of the proposals.

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The Courtyard Building is currently used as NHS offices and consulting rooms for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service(CAMHS) while the Clockhouse mansion is vacant.

A planning statement submitted with the application explained the NHS was 'exploring the potential' for the service to move to Abbey House, owned by the District Council, which has a single vacant floor 'which will better suit their requirements'.

Both older buildings were originally residential and became mixed-use from the mid-19th century until in 1985 they were converted exclusively to office space.

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A design and access statement by architects Nash Baker said the 'exceptional architectural morphology and value' of the buildings was appreciated and the development would seek to keep as many original elements as possible.

It went on to say the plans would mean the reduction in parking spaces from 27 to 19, stating: "The proximity to the town’s centre justifies a partial car free development."

There has been concern over what the development would mean for surrounding properties. An online response from H Brooks, who lives in 3 Brewers Court on nearby Winsmore Lane said they were worried about noise from construction, traffic and drainage as their home is next to the Clockhouse.

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They added: Our property is approximately 200 years old. What measures will be in place to ensure no vibration or other damage is caused to our property whilst demolition or other works are carried out on the Clockhouse?"

A consultation on the application is open until February 27. To comment or to view the plans in full visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk.